Youth IGF Past Fellows

Youth IGF Past Fellows

IGF has always been the center of attraction amongst all the Internet Governance enthusiasts. We published a call on the blog asking the past fellows to share a photo of themselves as a Youth Fellow/Ambassador

YCIG at EuroDIG2020: Youth perspectives on the way forward in IG

Written by Mili Semlani and Meri Baghdasaryan (YCIG Steering Committee). This article was originally posted at YCIG’s website. You can find the original post here.

The youth DC session–Youth Coalition on Internet Governance enabled its Dynamic Coalition members and partners to express and exchange views on the current state of affairs in the field of youth participation in the Internet Governance ecosystem at the pre event session hosted at EuroDIG 2020. 

The session explored some of the European initiatives that have been launched to enhance youth participation in internet governance after Youth IGF Summit held in Berlin in 2019. And it was aimed at creating synergies and finding common topics among regional youth movements and initiatives to conduct capacity enhancement projects and much more.

Developments after Youth IGF Summit 2019 

Carrying forward from the YCIG session at IGF in 2019, Elisabeth Schauermann, YouthDIG/ Youth IGF Summit 2019 reflected on the first ever Youth IGF Summit at Berlin in 2019 that was supported by last year’s IGF country host Germany. As a pre event to IGF 2019, it was an effective platform where youth from all over the world came together to share their messages.

While it was successful, the efforts did not just stop there. Youth participation should anchor all public policy and for this it is important to enable youth with necessary support and resources to participate in internet governance and policy making.

Further, Nika Bakhsoliani, Member of Advisory council on youth, Council of Europe and member of COVID-19 task force of the joint council, highlighted the importance of understanding the concept of meaningful youth participation, which entails that the youth has the necessary means, opportunities and space to participate in and influence decision making processes. Speaking of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Nika mentioned that the ongoing issues have been exacerbated, particularly affecting the marginalized youth and youth organisations. 

National Youth IGF movements

Veronica Birindelli, Youth IGF Italy and Joao Pedro Martins, Lusophone Youth IGF, Portugal; spoke about how to start Youth IGFs in their respective countries. While Portugal worked with other Portuguese speaking countries to reach out to a larger crowd, Italy worked with grassroots organisations and went from a 3-people team to a larger community. 

In addition to bringing in computer science students and tech enthusiasts, yIGF organisers also felt the need to speak to young people about the other issues like online safety, etc. that affect everyone in their own way. 

They also suggested that greater synergies amongst youth IGF initiatives across the world will be helpful so they can share content, topics, support etc. Being listed as an official youth initiative on IGF’s website is also helpful in gaining credibility. 

Being a part of youth IGFs enables youth to better engage at IGF main events. It also facilitates collaboration and building independent youth communities also facilitates adding real messages to the global debate.

The way forward

Noha Ashraf, YCIG steering committee member, presented the YCIG questionnaire which saw a greater need for not only tech related topics but also cross cutting ones like interaction of human rights with technology. 

Elnur Karimov,  EEG Regional Engagement Director for Youth Observatory shared his views on Youth Observatory’s (Youth SIG) growing global presence. In 2019, Youth Observatory (YouthSIG) had projects like Creative Networks which was a project competition where the winners attended IGF 2019 and Youth Atlas which highlighted engaged youth in IG from all over the world. Elnur also pointed out current engagement activities for Youth Observatory members like the Regional Activities.

In short,  it goes without saying that youth has a lot to offer to the Internet Governance ecosystem, from organising the first ever global Youth IGF Summit and  initiating national youth IGF movements to bringing the youth perspective and coming up with solutions to such unprecedented issues such as COVID-19 pandemic, together with different stakeholders. 

With COVID-19 pandemic still underway, the community strives to continue working towards enhancement of youth participation in the Internet Governance ecosystem, advance the capacity building programs and initiatives and bring the youth voice to the global discussions and processes. 

Therefore, in order to create synergies between various youth movements all over the globe, we need to define the common goals for these youth initiatives/movements and deliberate upon which formats, tools and frameworks can be applied for reaching these goals. Share with us your opinion in the comments. 

You may access the recording of the full YCIG session here

Written by Mili Semlani and Meri Baghdasaryan (YCIG Steering Committee). This article was originally posted at YCIG’s website. You can find the original post here.

For a Diverse Internet – Segur@s en Internet & WeAre

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAPdwgBXoAA9-Fh.jpg

As part of the Creating Networks project competition, which aimed to promote the participation and implementation of projects about Internet Governance, Human Rights and Inclusion led by the Youth, the three of us got selected to go and participate at the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YouthIGF2019) and Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2019) taking place in Berlín, Germany, from November 25th to the 29th of 2019 as Youth Observatory Fellows.

The Youth Observatory gave us the unique opportunity for weeks of learning through webinars and being able to live cybernetically with colleagues from different countries to finally choose our partners and build the project that led us to one of the best experiences of our lives.

The projects we presented at the competition were “Segur@s en Internet” and “WeAre”, which aimed to promote the participation of women and LGBTQI+ youth in the conversations regarding Internet Governance. In both projects, we worked with women and LGBTQI+ organizations and community members in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and we gave online and offline workshops about Internet Governance, Human Rights, Advocacy, and Digital Inclusion. Through the activities that took place, we aimed to tackle the issue related to the lack of diversity and representation in the discussion regarding Internet Governance spaces and to create a space for sharing about the issues that our communities face in Latin America, such as online violence and hate speech, freedom speech and situations in which are some spaces where they cannot express themselves freely on the internet. Unfortunately, this situation happens not only in Latin America and the Caribbean but also in places like Africa and the Middle East. We believe that a way to mitigate the impact of these instances if they continue to happen is to give them tools to know their digital rights and how to join the wave of action that is asking to have an Internet ecosystem that includes everyone.

We started our journey in Berlin having our projects and activities in mind. We noticed the considerable effort and value in making such an event and the incredible opportunities to meet others who are also passionate about keeping the health of the Internet ecosystem. However, we also noticed that in the many topics for discussion that were presented, not many reflections nor opinions tackled the issue of access, use, and inclusion of women and the LGBT+ community, especially opinions for these specifics population outside of the Global North, because most of the topics and policies that were discussed tend to focus their information from places like Europe and North America. There were few spaces for Latin American, Asian Pacific, and African perspectives, selected only after most of the main topics were determined. The sessions that did talk about these central perspectives were put as side sessions instead of main ones, which doesn’t help the multistakeholder view that Internet Governance is aiming to achieve.  

We decided to prepare and attend the Open Mic session at the forum, in order to draw the attention to the Internet policymakers and the lawmakers in our region, so they would make a joint collaboration with the Civil society and the private sector to provide the skills and legal framework to allow women and LGBTQI+ community to freely express themselves regardless their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

We also mentioned the lack of representation in the high-level panels regarding trans people. We could verify this by meeting a trans woman, who had been invited to the event. She said she felt that her invitation was due more to filling a gender parity quota rather than an intention to change the event’s participation policies. 

We expressed loud and clear that gender implies not only women and girls, but also LGBTQI+ communities. Therefore, we helped to foster that in the upcoming IGFs this is taken into account, so the promise of an Internet for everyone will truly be real, where no one is left behind outside of the picture, and where we could truly comply with the message of One Internet, One Net, and One Vision.

Belén Giménez (Paraguay) Segur@s en Internet Project

Abdías Zambrano (Panamá) Segur@s en Internet Project

Juan Pájaro (Colombia) Project WeAre

Youth Observatory participated in EuroDIG2020

Youth Observatory (Youth SIG) was invited by the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance to participate in the session Youth Coalition on Internet Governance: Creating synergies and the Way Forward”. This session was part of the Day 0 program at EuroDIG2020.

EuroDIG is the pan- European dialogue of Internet Governance, where participants from countries of all Europe gather to discuss issues of the region. This year, the online event chose the overarching theme “Towards a sustainable governance of the Internet” to discuss the focus areas: a) Cooperation, legislation, standardisation; b)Leverage connecting the unconnected; c)Data governance and data security; d)Media issues (ongoing); e) all matter DNS.

On this session, our Regional Engagement Director for Eastern European Group Elnur Karimov introduced the audience to Youth Observatorys initiatives we have done in the last years, including Youth Atlas, Creating Networks and the session proposals we worked within the IGF Working Groups for the IGF2020.

Elnur said “more youth participation means better Internet Governance” while highlighting the achieved projects by the Youth Observatory and our enthusiasm for the future involved in IG.

Our Regional Engagement Director for EEG also mentioned what we have done in the last months, including submitting sessions proposals to the IGF2020 and the launch at Regional Activities, which have the goal to feature young individuals from our community to share their thoughts on relevant topics for youth.

We will soon share news on our social media, stay tuned!

We want to thank Youth Coalition on Internet Governance for the invitation-

Participate in Regional Activities!

Youth Observatory, as Special Interest Group of Internet Society focused on Youth, has prepared a series of community outreach activities to engage young people in capacity building.

We believe in these times of pandemic, we should foster a closer relationship with our members, giving a space to share with the community about their leadership experiences and share their insights on an area of their interest.

The Community Outreach will include:

LEADERSHIP EXCHANGE: Informal gatherings on Zoom platform to share experiences on leadership. In this space, we can meet to know more about our members and learn on their leadership experiences.

YOUTH AT FOCUS: Live session at Instagram to talk about an area of their expertise. Instagram is a great platform to have a 1-1 discussion, when everyone can leave a comment to our featured young speaker.


If you are a Youth Observatory member and you want to apply, kindly fill this form. Regional Engagement Directors will reach you for the next steps.



List of Regional Engagement Directors:

African Group- Joshua Joshua

Asia Pacific Group- Mohammad Atif Aleem

Europe- Elnur Karimov

Latin America and the Caribbean- Eileen Cejas

Western Europe Group and Others- Ana Jovanovic

YouthLACIGF 2020 on the way!

The Organising Committee of the YouthLACIGF is preparing great activities for the YouthLACIGF 2020. This year the event will be entirely online on August 1-2. Chilean Time Zone.

The online event will address these 4 thematic areas:

Online education and access to the internet. Digital Literacy matters!

Misinformation, problems with social media

COVID 19 related to privacy and cybersecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean region

Online democracies: a new model of democracies after the pandemic?

If you are a young resident of the Latin America and the Caribbean region, you can submit your application by filling this form. Applications in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese are accepted.

Read more information on formats, deadlines and speakers at the website.


In adittion, the Organising Committee has prepared an Open Course with the support of Internet Society. Taking into account the situation of COVID-19 in the region, we considered to provide this capacity building tool as preparation for the YouthLACIGF and LACIGF online meetings. We will have webinars with experts of the Latin American and the Caribbean region on selected topics relevants for the region.

You can enroll in the course here. Deadline to enroll: May 14, 2020, 11h59pm UTC

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19

Youth Observatory has prepared a webinar on COVID-19, with the purpose of joining efforts to fight COVID-19 with Dr. Abhishek Royal.

Dr. Royal is a medical doctor and a public health professional with experience of working with various vulnerable and marginalized population and public health emergencies in India. He is currently pursuing Master’s in Public Health in Implementation Research from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. He has received full scholarship from World Health Organization – Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases to pursue this international master’s program.

Dr. Abhishek Royal will talk to us on April 15th on the Community perspective on the pandemic and the effects of lockdown on Mental health.

Moderator: Mohammad Atif Aleem (Regional Engagement Director- Asia Pacific Region).

Sign up before April 13 at 12 pm UTC here: https://bit.ly/YouthObsAgainstCovid

The webinar on COVID-19 will take place on April 15 at 14pm UTC. Few spots available!


Watch the recording of the webinar below:

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19

Youth Observatory Webinar on COVID-19. Dr. Abhishek Royal (MBBS, MPH Scholar | Implementation Research) will cover 1) Community perspective on pandemic; 2) Effects of lockdown and infodermic on mental health.

Posted by Youth Observatory on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

As part of Youth Obs Challenge, we are also proposing our community to take a short course on COVID-19 (enroll here) and share your certificate, tagging @YouthObs on social media and using the proposed hashtags #onlineandinformed #youthobsonline #InternetUnited #unitedagainstCovid19 #youthuniteagainstcovid.

Youth LACIGF 2019

The youth meeting took place in August 5th, in the city of La Paz, Bolivia. The organizing process started in January 2019 when we invited Youth Observatory members to take part in online meetings to shape the fourth edition of the Youth LACIGF, having our communication at our official Telegram group in order to set the working commissions.

In order to create an Internet Governance Initiative that achieves the goals of openness, transparency, inclusiveness, non-commercial, and multi-stakeholder participation, the main organizers established a dialogue with other stakeholders interested in the event. At the end of July, we had the participation of 5 actors from different stakeholder groups which conform the Organization Committee.


The Committee decided to use the format of “Break-out groups” to maximize the participation of all attendees in our agenda. The event was open to the public, free of charge and was widely disseminated in digital media.

Watch the recording here: https://youtu.be/uVk_p7lDPIc

Read the full report here (English).

Youth LACIGF 2018

On July 29 we hosted the Youth LACIGF 2018 in partnership with Youth IGF Argentina, as Buenos Aires was the host city of LACIGF. In this meeting, we gathered young individuals from all the region to share knowledge, experiences and thoughts on the challenges we are facing in the LAC region. Due this year we are sharing common interests and for the sake of complement strategies, we decided to organize both events in the same day and venue.

The Youth IGF Argentina is a discussion forum and space of exchange of ideas that has a goal amply the voices of young individuals between 18 to 30 years that are interested in Internet Governance.

At the meeting we had 50 young participants from Latin America and the Caribbean interested on learning about several topics related to Internet Governance as well as acquiring knowledge from young persons of other countries. The topics addressed included freedom of expression in Internet, liability of intermediary platforms; cybersecurity and threats in digital spaces; at an informal environment when young persons could make all types of questions about the above said topics.

Moreover, the meeting counted with the presentation of Maia Daniel Levy (Youth IGF Argentina, on “Liability of intermediary platforms”) and Silvio Messina (Datas, on “Threats to digital rights in Argentina”). We also had a workshop facilitated by Romina Colman (part of the team of La Nación Data, an Argentine newspaper) and the presentation of a project created by the organization “Las De Sistemas” (an organization that empowers women on the usage of STEM). The meeting included presentations of youth initiatives of young leaders in the LAC region.

Thanks to the provided fellowships, we could have 8 guest fellows from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Chile and Paraguay.

Access the full Report here (English).

Youth LACIGF 2017

In the second edition of the Youth LACIGF, we had our meeting in the city of Panama City in Panama, where the LACIGF was having place too. This edition sought to deepen the debate and involvement of young people in the region, bringing new issues to be discussed among participants.

The agenda of the meeting was followed after the results of a public poll conducted during June 2017. For our forum, we used the format of “Birds of Further” to maximixe the participation of the attendess of the Youth LACIGF 2017. The thematic areas we addressed were “Infrastructure and Access”, “Cybersecurity and Surveillance”, “Internet and Human Rights”, “The Youth and Internet Governance”. It has also included the “Agenda Hacking” and the presentation of the book “Analysis of youth connected” (‘Análisis de una joventud conectada’).

You can watch the recording of the meeting at the links below:

Part 1: https://youtu.be/WMyYjs2T78I

Part 2: https://youtu.be/CSasbu9hZKo

Read the full report here (English).